7 Ways to Prepare Your Relationship for IVF


As teenagers, we hear time and time again how “easy” it is to get pregnant — and how important it is to avoid it at all costs. So, as an adult planning to have a baby, it might come as a surprise to you to realize that it won’t be that simple after all.No one is prepared for the pain and heartbreak that will follow infertilitynor the challenges that you and your partner will face during the course of a positive pregnancy test.

In fact, according to 2018 Research Review, infertility can lead to depression to the same degree as a cancer diagnosis in some people. Those undergoing assisted reproductive treatment (ART) — in vitro fertilization (IVF) is the most well-known type — are at high risk for developing mental illnesses such as anxiety and depression.

“People who experience infertility often feel so isolated, ashamed and guilty,” Elizabeth Anne Grill, PsyDPerelman and Claudia Cohen, a clinical psychologist at the Center for Reproductive Medicine and an associate professor at Weill Cornell Medicine in New York City, tells SELF.

These complex emotions and high levels of distress can really put a relationship in a bind. “For many couples, this is the biggest source of stress they’ve ever faced,” Dr. Kim Cronea psychologist Advanced Reproductive Services Center In Connecticut, tell SELF.

So, it’s understandable that switching to ART after months of already trying to conceive adds another layer of stress to an already difficult situation.For some couples, ART can include fertility methods like ovarian stimulation or intrauterine insemination (IUI), but for many, the path ultimately leads them to in vitro fertilizationwhich is the most common and effective form of ART, according to US National Library of Medicine.

“Absolutely no problem [that IVF] It puts a huge amount of stress on couples because they’re going through it, and I don’t think there’s any way around it,” Dr Greer said.

While both partners are together, each will have different coping strategies and different needs, Abbey Nordquist, MS, LMFT, a therapist in Syracuse, New York who specializes in working with infertile couples, tells SELF. Because IVF can often feel isolating, mutual support is crucial. That’s why doing some work ahead of time to come to an agreement can help significantly reduce the emotional load.

“If you know what’s going to happen, then you can stop some problems before they happen,” Dr. Greer said.

With this in mind, experts recommend taking the following seven steps to help you maintain a strong bond throughout the IVF process.

1. Discuss some big-picture topics beforehand.

Important things: financial situation, and how much you can (and are willing to) put into the effort. “I always encourage patients to have a discussion about setting limits. They can be flexible, but it’s really important to have that discussion,” says Dr. Crone. She points out that one person may be willing to spend whatever it takes, even if it means going into debt, while another may be more financially conservative.


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